Located in the Guanxi Autonomous Region
of southern China, Guilin has become one of the
country's most visited cities, thanks to its setting
in a landscape of limestone hills thrust up from
the seabed 300 million years ago and immortalised
in Chinese painting and poetry. Guilin has a long
history as the most beautiful place in China.
It is famous for its wonderful scenery, rivers
and karst peaks covered in lush greenery, Established
in the Qin Dynasty as a regional power base for
the first emperor of China, Guilin's population
exploded to around a million during the 1930s
when the city was a Communist stronghold against
the Japanese. In recent decades, although development
and exploding tourism are changing the face of
this beautiful city, Guilin has remained one of
the greenest and scenic cities of China.
Guilin is situated along the Lijiang
River, which is a favorite travel attraction in
itself. The beauty of the water and the karst
peaks towering into the sky have attracted travelers
to this area for centuries.
Parallel to the Lijiang River runs
Zhongshan Road, Guilin's main street. In the middle
of the city on both sides of Zhongshan Road are
Banyan Lake and Fir Lake respectively, each a
beautiful park in its own right. To the north
stands Solitary Beauty Peak, Guilin's most prominent
karst peak. Along the Lijiang River are two more
peaks, Wave Subduing Hill and Elephant Trunk Hill,
each proudly showing off Guilin's unique scenery.
Elsewhere in the city is the immense Seven Star
Park with seven peaks and six caves as well as
pavilions and gardens to enjoy. Lastly, on the
northwestern outskirts of town is Reed Flute Cave,
one of the area's wonderful underground sights.